Buying a New Car? Dont Forget to Haggle!

by : Paul McIndoe

Many car buyers are missing out on discounts of almost ?1,600 on their brand new car purchase as they are too keen on the car they want or are too embarrassed to haggle with car salesmen, according to recent research from Sainsbury's Bank. To make matters worse, most of the people who miss out on discounts will also not shop around for their car finance, making the overall deal more profitable for the dealers and even more expensive for the car buyer.

The study highlighted the fact that only 53% of all people expecting to buy a car in the next year will even raise the issue of discount to the new car salesman. The rest will simply accept that the list price is what they will pay.

The main barrier to effective negotiation for most new car buyers is that they get fixated on one particular car and are unable to hide their excitement from the salesman. That gives him the upper hand as he knows how keen you are on that car. He'll reckon that you are unlikely to ask for a discount and that even if you do and he refuses that you will probably still buy the car anyway. The real power of negotiation lies in knowing that you can refuse to buy, and walk away if the deal doesn't suit you. Put your emotion aside, or at least hide it from the salesman when you are looking to buy.

Of course, there is an art to haggling and here are three top tips for getting the best price for a new car purchase:

1. Visit the garage just after an updated version of the car you want has come out. Dealers will often significantly cut the price of older versions if you ask, because they want to clear their forecourt for the newer models.

2. Buy just before the new registration plate comes out - dealers will often issue generous discounts as they try to shift their stock before the new plate comes out.

3. Do your research and be aware of the true value of the car you want. For example What Car? Target Price lists the average price you should pay for cars; which is currently around ?1,600 below the list price.

And finally, if you are thinking of buying your vehicle using car finance, it definitely pays to shop around. With interest rates varying so much as the loans market tries to steady itself in the face of a credit crunch, you can negotiate an even better overall saving on your vehicle purchase by getting the best possible interest rate. As when negotiating your car price, don't go with the first offer!